TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Transfer
The news was first reported by TSN analyst Kristian Jack last week.
The 26-year-old Henry, who consistently proved to be a dominant aerial force and a formidable tackler (watch highlights below), was one of the bright spots for a Whitecaps team that finished in last place in the Western Conference in 2019. He made 25 appearances in 2019 and another 18 appearances, all starts, in 2018.
“We worked closely with Doneil and his agent, we explored a number of options, and at this time all parties agreed that this was the best path,” Whitecaps FC head coach Marc Dos Santos said in a club statement. “The General Allocation Money we received from this transfer will provide some additional roster flexibility as we continue to build our roster.”
Henry has already played overseas in his career, spending three seasons at West Ham in England although he played most of that spell away on loan. He moved to the Hammers on a transfer from Toronto FC and then returned to MLS via the Allocation Process in December 2017.
He has 31 international caps with Canada, including playing 48 minutes in the country’s most recent match against the USA, a 4-1 loss in Orlando.
The Whitecaps also announced that they will not be exercising the 2020 contract option for Brazilian Victor “PC” Giro, who made 18 appearances (9 starts) for Vancouver at left back and left winger.
Back in October when the club originally unveiled its contract option decisions, the Whitecaps indicated they were in discussions with Giro and Henry on a potential return, but neither will materialize. Vancouver are continuing discussions with center back Erik Godoy and winger Michaell Chirinos.
The two moves come on the heels of the Whitecaps hiring new sporting director Axel Schuster, who previously worked at German clubs Schalke 04 and Mainz 05.
The Whitecaps currently have 18 players on their roster, including just two center backs — Canadian international Derek Cornelius and Tunisian Jasser Khmiri, who spent most of the 2019 season recovering from knee surgery. Right back Jake Nerwinski has also featured at central defender.